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Competition Key to Upton, Walden Update

WASHINGTON DC (Dec. 3, 2013) – Today, House Energy and Commerce leaders Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) held a Google Hangout where they announced plans for an update to the Communications Act in 2015.  The House leaders indicated the process would include a number of hearings and white papers leading up to 2015.

In response to the announcement, Chip Pickering, a spokesperson for the Broadband Coalition and a former Republican Member of Congress from Mississippi who helped draft the Telecommunication Act in 1996 as a Senate staffer, released the following statement:

“By design, the focus of the Telecommunications Act was competition, not technology. The rockets of innovation that have launched since the ‘96 Act have literally changed the world as we know it.  From Amazon to EBay, Twitter to Tumblr and Google to Facebook.

“The policy architecture put in place in the Telecommunication Act of 1996 is still working to this day, hatching new markets, new ideas and most importantly new jobs.

“Chairman Upton and Walden are both strong advocates for open markets and I would encourage them to keep competition policy as their guide and not be swayed by arguments that would favor one technology over another.

“New FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has the tools he needs to protect and promote competition and innovation. We support his data driven approach, which removes politics and lobbyists from critical decisions about competition and market penetration. 

“We are confident the data being collected for the special access proceeding at the FCC will show that AT&T and Verizon have retained bottleneck control on business broadband service. AT&T’s current rate hike request before the FCC is exhibit 1A of their market power.”

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